Mammography is a low dose x-ray exam of the breast to look for changes in breast tissue. Screening mammograms are performed annually on women who have no symptoms for breast cancer. A diagnostic mammogram is performed to further diagnose abnormal breast changes. Other technologies can be used to further aid in the diagnosis including ultrasound, MRI, and image guided biopsies
Preparing for Your Mammogram
Do not use any deodorant, perfume, powders, ointments or lotions on your breasts or underarms since these may show up on the images.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
When having a mammogram, you will be asked to change into a clinic gown. You will be standing while the technologist positions you to obtain the best image. Your breast is placed on the flat surface of the mammography unit. Compression is applied to the breast and an image is taken. This may cause minimal discomfort that only lasts for a few seconds.
The technologist will reposition you several times throughout the exam to obtain all required images. Your exam will take approximately 20 minutes.
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time.
Breast Imaging Results
A board-certified breast radiologist reviews your images and provides the results to your ordering provider typically within three business days. Please contact your provider for results. If you are enrolled in MyChart®, you can find your results there as well.
Accreditations and Certifications
Our three hospital locations (Community Memorial Hospital, Froedtert Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital) are recognized by the American College of Radiology (ACR) as Breast Centers of Excellence.
All of our locations offering breast imaging services are ACR accredited.
All technologists who perform mammography exams (X-ray or ultrasound) are nationally certified within one year of employment and are state licensed.
Breast Imaging Innovation
We offer tomosynthesis (3D mammography) and computer-aided detection (CAD) at all locations. These are additional tools to help our radiologists more accurately read your exam. At Froedtert Hospital, we also offer whole breast US screening (ABUS).
More Breast Imaging Resources
The American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America offer detailed information on breast imaging/mammography. Learn more.